India managed to win another thriller, winning in the final over by picking up two wickets and thus leading the 5-match series 2-0. It was skipper Virat Kohli initially for India who scored the bulk of the runs as he reached to his 40th ODI century that helped the Indians to get to 250 which was a below-par total in the wicket.
In reply, Australia were bundled out for 242, and thus handed over the Indians an 8-runs victory. The Australians needed 21 runs in 3 overs, but it was Jasprit Bumrah who gave away just 1 run in the 48th over to hand over the Indians a cushion that Vijay Shankar exploited really well in the final over to help India take a 2-0 series lead.
Winning the toss, the Australians chose to field first, and immediately Pat Cummins handed over the visitors the priced wicket of Rohit Sharma. India lost another wicket in the form of Shikhar Dhawan inside the first ten overs, as they were lurching at 39/2 in 10 overs. A few overs later, Ambati Rayudu was adjudged LBW of Nathan Lyon’s delivery as India were now really struggling to put a respectable total on board.
However, Vijay Shankar along with Virat Kohli stitched on a valuable 81-runs partnership to again put India on an advantageous position. But soon in an unfortunate turn of events, Vijay Shankar was run-out and then the Indians further loss wickets of last match heroes Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni as now they were struggling at 171/6 in 33 overs. However, Kohli carried on and was ably supported by Ravindra Jadeja as the duo put up 67-runs partnership between themselves, while Kohli too reached his 40th ODI ton in the process.
But the Indians didn’t cope up well in the death overs as both of Jadeja and Kohli was dismissed soon by Cummins, and were thus bundled out for 250 in the 49th over itself. It would have been an easy chase for Australia as the total posted by the Indians was below par. They started well too with both Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja stitching on an 83-runs partnership for the opening wickets, however, a flurry of wickets reduced the Kangaroos to 83/2 in 16 overs. Further, they lost wickets of Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell in the middle overs as Australia were now reeling at 132/4 in 28.3 overs.
Another partnership flourished between Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis which was looking dangerous for India, however, Ravindra Jadeja ran Handscomb out to again put a soft cushion for the Indians. Alex Carey then partnered Stoinis, and both of them together brought the Australians closer to the Indian total, however, Kuldeep Yadav after being hit for 15 runs in one over dismissed Carey too just bring back the Indians back into the game. In the very next over, Jasprit Bumrah sent two Australian batsmen back to the pavilion as now the game became really interesting with India needing two wickets and Australia needing 28 runs in 26 balls.
Marcus Stoinis was however still present in the crease and was nearing a half-century and he patiently was trying to take the game to final over. After 47 overs, Australia needed 21 runs in 18 deliveries and now it was all for Australia to lose, but Bumrah bowled a magnificent over by giving away just 1 run and mounting back pressure on the Australians and especially to Stoinis. The next over, Shami leaked away 9 runs to again put the game in the balance as now Australia needed 11 runs off the final over.
Everybody was expecting Kedar Jadhav to bowl the final over, however, it was Vijay Shankar who was entrusted by his captain to bowl the ultimate over. In the very first ball, Shankar got Stoinis out through LBW. And a couple of balls later, he clean-bowled Adam Zampa to hand over India their 500th ODI victory. Virat Kohli for his 40th ton was adjudged the player of the match.
Both teams now play in Ranchi on the 8th of March. India would be playing to win the match and thus the series and then try other players who are also probable for the World Cup, while Australia would like to get their team combinations right before the World Cup.
Also Read, 2nd ODI IND vs AUS Match Prediction